Libraries old and new
Alexandria Travel Blog› entry 12 of 22 › view all entries
To me the name Alexandria always conjured up images of learned ancients and seemed to be the definition of civilization. It is where geometry was invented, medical techniques fines tuned, where empires rose and fell...
Today's Alexandria shows very little of the past- but if you look hard enough it's there. Plus it's a great place to go and get away from Cairo. First and foremost is the Library. It is awesome. Beautiful, functional, innovative and entertaining it is like my dream world (I am a big library/musuem nerd). When you go take the free tour- advice from my brother that paid off- and then use the library's resources to your advantage.
We watched a really great movie about the Nile River at the Planetarium and had lunch at the cafe. Then we walked to the Greco-Roman Museum, which is meant to house one of the best collections in the world. Unfortuanately it is closed for renovation...so we filled up our time with wandering the city (which isn't all that big).
Coming upon a movie theater we decided it would be fun to watch a summer blockbuster- Spiderman 3. The movie is okay but the audience was the real show. Apparently a movie theater in Egypt is an interactive experience, akin to watching a film in your living room with 100 of your least closest friends. =)
Alexandria is a great place to just go and relax.
The next morning we walked to the Roman Catacombs. They are very cool, but you can't take pictures (I tried to sneek in my camera but they caught me). We wandered for about 3 hours that morning and it was really cool. Then we went to the Qasr, the fort, that now stands where the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria once stood. Taking the advice of my infinitely wise mother and brother we treated ourselves to a nice lunch of fresh fish (delicious!).
We had bought our return tickets for 7pm but still had hours to kill. Deciding that the "local" part of the city was cooler we spent the afternoon drinking tea and smoking sheesha- the waterpipe. Boy did I get some looks, let me tell you. Most were amused ("Look at the white lady smoking") but some were pretty dirty... I never would've felt comfortable if I'd been alone.
In the end it was the best way to end the trip to Egypt. For me Egypt is a hard country to love, for many and equally varied reasons, but love it I did.